The jack of all trades.

Above Otose's Snack Shop lies the Yorozuya, Gintoki's headquarters of operation (that he's totally not paying rent for, by the way). Yorozuya (万事屋) literally translates to "house of 10,000 businesses". In other words, the Yorozuya is the place where Gintoki offers up odd jobs to anyone who needs it. This can be anything as simple as capturing the village panty thief, to stopping terrorists from blowing up the country. Gintoki runs the business alongside his two younger companions, Shinpachi and Kagura, as well as their mascot and giant pet dog, Sadaharu. To say that the three of them do their work "well" is, however, is pretty up in the air. Gintoki works according to his own rules, and if he thinks a job isn't worth his time or disagrees with a customer, he isn't afraid to work conversely to what he's asked to do. This becomes pretty clear in one of the first chapters of the series where Gintoki is asked to help find the lost pet of an Amanto Prince: when it ends up being a man-eating monster that nearly eats Shinpachi for lunch, Gintoki throws caution to the wind and kills the pet in order to save his companion...much to the dismay of his client.

Though this "jack of all trades" almost always scoffs at his customer and enters jobs with a bit of arrogance, more often than not he finds himself empathizing with the people who come to him for help (or at least eventually learn to later on.) Even if it seems like he's primarily running the business in order to earn a living, it also appears that deep down inside he's got a sugar-coated heart--most likely literally and figuratively. As an ex-samurai, Gintoki has the strength and abilities to help other people, and in a world where his skills as a samurai are no longer deemed "useful", he acts as the odd jobs to disprove that theory. Unlike his comrades who still rebel and fight against the new world that's been taken over by the Amanto, Gintoki accepts the life that he's been forced into and instead uses his strength to help other people who are struggling in the same world. Despite the fact that Gintoki may really be half-assing everything he does, his work comes off as noble and sincere, and his customers usually end the job with a new-found respect for the Yorozuya.

The country? The sky? I’ll give that to you guys. It’s hard enough for me to protect what I want to protect. I don’t know how many times I have failed to protect what I wanted to… I don’t have anything anymore but, if there’s something on the floor, I’ll pick it up. What’s important to the customer is important to me. I’ll do anything to protect that!
--Sakata Gintoki, Chapter 1
Gintoki runs the Yorozuya as his form of "changing the world" that his former comrades are also working hard to do in their own ways (terrorism, but that's another story for another page entirely). Rather than trying to usurp the corrupt government or burn the country to the ground however, Gintoki works in small ways. He believes in protecting the most important part of a human being: the soul. He wants to protect those things which are important to people and offers help those who are unable to do that for themselves--even people that he may originally find to be the most pathetic of human beings. It's not just about the money (it CAN'T be when he rarely gets any of it!), but Gintoki's way of atoning for the things he was unable to protect in the past.